When Goodbyes Become Difficult to Bear

After 2 job changes and being in the workforce for close to a decade, I thought I had seen my fair share of farewells to become nonchalant. This is how it is – people join an organisation for a variety of reasons, and people leave because of an even wider range of reasons.

I have lost count of the number of colleagues who have come and gone through the organisation, some of which have become friends as well. And I’m always happy for them, to have made the decision to leave for happier positions elsewhere, and to move on in life.

It was only today that I realised that I’m not so cool about all farewells after all.

We were out celebrating another colleague’s farewell over a sumptuous lunch, and looking forward to the weekend ahead. Everyone was cheery.

Out of the blue, you whispered the words to me on our way back to office. I was utterly shocked. My heart constricted painfully, and I forgot to breathe for 3 seconds.

After all you’ve been through at work recently, I understand and fully support your decision to finally call it quits. There is a part of me that’s giving you a standing ovation that you’re moving on, leaving it all behind. Starting afresh at another place, learning new things, meeting new challenges head on, adapting well, as you always do.

Yet, there is another part of me that’s torn apart by your decision to leave. We clicked, and worked well as coworkers. We have common conversation topics, and we do not run out of things to talk about. We have become more and more like friends, as the years went by. It has now been more than 3 years; and now the time has come for you to leave. I will be losing yet another friend and ally at work; a very, very special friend.

I’ll be going away for 2 weeks soon; and you’d have left by the time I am back in office. There will no longer be a friendly, warm smile when I walk past your desk when I am back. We can no longer talk about our kids, fashion, anything, as and when we have things to share. I can no longer renew my energy at work by catching up with you. It hurts so much to even think about it. It really hurts.

But I sincerely wish you all the very best in your future endeavours, my dear friend. I know you have made the right decision. And I know you will survive, adapt and do very well anywhere you go. Know you’ll always be in my thoughts, and your dear little boy too.

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